Top Ten Sony Insider Stories Of 2009

I can’t believe it is 2010 – things have certainly changed so much in the last year and 2010 seems to be the dawn of a new era in technology. Thank you to all of our readers, even those of you who are new and those of you who have been with us for a while – you make this website worth doing. The level of support we receive from our community and Sony is outstanding. I’m so excited for the stories that this new year will bring, but it is also important to reflect back on what made news in 2009. According to Google Analytics, here are some of the biggest stories to hit Sony Insider in the last year -

#10 – Sony’s Media Go Now Available For Download

The free Media Go software, announced at E3 2009, made it easier than ever to take your media with you wherever you go. Transfer music, photos, and videos from your PC to your Sony (PSP) or Sony Ericsson portable device, or import from your device to your PC. File conversion is hassle-free: Media Go automatically converts your media to the appropriate format for your device while maintaining the best possible quality. The latest version of the software is 1.3.

#9 – Sony’s Upcoming ICF-CL75iP Is An Alarm Clock, Digital Frame, And Dock For Your iPod/iPhone

Alarm clocks, digital photo frames, and iPod/iPhone docks are usually bland and simple. Only very recently have we seen style truly grace these products. However, when one of my contacts forwarded me information about the upcoming ICF-CL75iP, I couldn’t believe what I was looking at. This is probably the greatest looking fusion of all of the aforementioned devices that I’ve ever seen. This is the most advanced Dream Machine ever produced by Sony to date – it has a crisp 7 inch color WVGA (800 x 480) LCD, 1GB of built-in storage, SD/MS card slots, USB, and a retractable iPod/iPhone dock. It’s so keen I even got one for my Mother for Christmas.

#8 – Contrast – The Flex OLED VAIO Laptop Of Our Dreams?

Sony’s Contrast Flex OLED VAIO laptop is a super-thin laptop product concept. We were able to catch footage of its introduction video at Sony’s exhibit during CES 2009. We believe that Sony is assuming OLED will be the preferable choice of display for future laptop devices instead of what we currently use today. The Contrast Vaio laptop uses a foldable seamless OLED for the display and the keyboard, but as the videos show the keyboard can fade away and the whole thing can display something else. This concept has no restrictions on layout and size, and is extremely durable and shock resistant. Like the other Contrast product concepts, it is made of high performance flexible bioplastic. They also showed off flexible OLED Walkman and Reader concepts.

#7 – Content Transfer Software for Walkman

Content Transfer software provides an easy way to transfer music, video, photos, and podcasts to the Walkman player. Just drag & drop the files to the Content Transfer window and the Content Transfer software automatically sorts the files to the appropriate folders on the player. We covered the 1.1 update in this post, but in the last month the software was recently updated to 1.3.

#6 – Windows 7 Upgrade Information For Sony VAIO Computers

Select Sony VAIO computer models that ship with Windows Vista Home Edition, Windows Vista Business or Windows Vista Ultimate, purchased on or after June 26th 2009, and until January 31st 2010, qualify for a free upgrade to Windows 7. Certain models that ship with Windows XP Professional and include a Windows Vista Business Certificate of Authenticity (“COA”) also qualify for a free upgrade. The upgrade order will ship after October 22, 2009 and may take 7-10 business days for delivery. Orders will be processed in the order received and the End User will be notified of their order’s status after this date.

#5 – New Sony PRS-300 And PRS-600 Reader Devices Appear In Service Manuals

Out of nowhere, aafuss on our forums pointed out service manuals for the PRS-300 and PRS-600 Sony Reader devices before they were revealed. What was interesting at the time is the PRS-700 was no longer on sale at SonyStyle, signaling these devices were coming very soon. The manuals are fresh from the oven, as the creation date was July 2009 – the same month as our post. The storyline was rather big for Sony Insider, and forced Sony to announce the Readers ahead of schedule.

#4 – Sony’s Gorgeous New A-Series Walkman Features OLED, Up To 64GB Capacity

Sony unveiled the latest update to the A-Series Walkman line with some serious features. The new NW-A840 series, available in black and brown, simply is the most brilliant Walkman offering from Sony to date – it has all of the features people have been asking for in previous Walkmans while shedding what it needed to. In my opinion, this is the most stylish appearance I’ve seen in a personal media player – and it has a jaw-dropping 2.8 inch WQVGA OLED screen. This is also the thinnest Walkman ever created at only 7.2mm. However, it has only been available for sale in Japan, and worldwide release seems hazy at best. We’re not even sure its coming to CES anymore.

#3 – Full Sony Reader PRS-300 and PRS-600 Specifications Emerge

Internet retailer J&R leaked the full specifications and pricing of the Sony Reader PRS-300 and PRS-600. J&R accidentally put up the product pages earlier today, but deleted them soon thereafter hoping no one would catch it. Well, folks over at hi-pda managed to grab the text and we cleaned it up and the rest is history.

#2 – Sony Ericsson “Satio” vs. Apple “iPhone 3G S” Specs Comparison

Sony Ericsson’s phone announcements in 2009 were the strongest they have had in recent memory. The Satio at one point was their most powerful phone ever, and we put it head to head with the iPhone 3G S in a detailed specs comparison. The North American market has been dominated by the iPhone 3G, and it is now even more powerful than before with the updated S version. Both phones have rich application environments – the iPhone with App Store, and the Satio with presumeably PlayNow, as well as millions of Symbian apps.

#1 – Check Out Oprah’s Word A Day Giveaway

Believe it or not, a post about Oprah’s Word a Day summer sweepstakes was the top Sony Insider story of 2009 – it gave us the most traffic this year by a signifigant margin. The post was so attractive because we updated it daily with the word of the day, usually before it would air on television. One of the primary reasons we posted about it was the great number of Sony products included in the contest.

31
Dec 2009
POSTED IN

Hardware, Opinion

DISCUSSION 3 Comments

Sony @ CES 2010 Coming Soon

Many of you know that the biggest event in consumer electronics, CES, is coming next month during January 7th to the 10th. It’s a very exciting time for gadget bloggers because large electronics companies debut new products for the year. Sony begins their preparations many months before CES, and their booth usually has their latest products, dozens of televisions, interactive product displays, and so much more. Another exciting aspect is the people who are in the booths – it’s not uncommon to be amongst celebrities and high ranking officials of various companies. For a mild mannered Sony blogger such as myself it is an overwhelming prospect to visit CES, as there is so many people to meet, and so much to cover for our readers out there.

What’s truly interesting is that there won’t be a Sony keynote this year for CES 2010. This is big a contrast to last year where Chairman, President and CEO of the Sony Corporation Howard Stringer, Tom Hanks, Usher, Reggie Jackson, and many 3D movie trailers were present for the 2009 keynote..

Sony put pictures on flickr (click to enlarge) to remind us that they will have quite the showing for CES 2010; below, you can see the large number of products waiting to be shipped to Vegas. What products/sub-brands can you identify?

Here is where things come together, courtesy of a great story by geek.com, entitled “Early images of Sony’s CES booth.” (more pictures there) Apparently their website was allowed to take pictures of the booth-building process, and said that “..the booth (and I use that term loosely, it’s probably about half an acre) is positioned in a sweet spot at the rear corner of one of the Las Vegas Convention Center’s massive halls.” They have quite a few pictures of the Sony CES booth itself being constructed; It definitely puts a smile on my face to see this, as it looks really crazy. I can tell the lighting is going to be really high impact, and rich with color – probably a massive pain to take pictures of. Thankfully I will have a A900 this round.

You can definitely see that the make.believe mindset is all over the place.

31
Dec 2009
POSTED IN

CES, Hardware

DISCUSSION 3 Comments

Sony Reader Daily Edition (PRS-900) Review Roundup

The most feature-filled Reader device ever created by Sony, the Reader Daily Edition, is now hitting consumers and press worldwide and the reviews are pretty interesting. My Mom recently acquired a Kindle from a friend and I consider that this iteration of the Reader experience to be finally on par. Let’s face it – Sony was having problems competiting with a product that offered free wireless internet to connect to the Kindle Store, the ability to browse websites, and other interactive features.

Fortunately, the Reader Daily has free 3G Internet through AT&T with no reoccuring charge and a huge 1024×600 screen. Can you say widescreen newspapers and subscriptions? Nice.

After reading these reviews, I think the eBook store on the Sony Reader Daily Edition looks better than the Kindle. It also seems like the response time is on par (and perhaps slightly faster than) the Kindle. Check out these cool reviews we found of the PRS-900 (aka PRS-900BC), and we will update this post with other reviews as time goes on.

Image courtesy of Lisa at MobileTechReview.

29
Dec 2009
POSTED IN

Hardware, Reader

DISCUSSION 10 Comments

Sony Adds Another To The IPELA Line Of Video Conferencing With The PCS-XG55

In response to the high demand for HD video conferencing in the Asia Pacific region, Sony announced that it is introducing its latest generation HD visual communication system, the PCS-XG55. Part of the IPELA family from Sony’s current HD PCS series systems lineup, the PCS-XG55 HD incorporates the functions and features of Sony’s existing high-end, PCS-XG80, developing an enhanced video communications platform that is flexible for the education, healthcare, government and corporate environments.

According to Frost & Sullivan, Asia Pacific is expected to contribute $1.7 billion to the video conferencing market, which is poised to grow into a $4.7 billion-dollar industry by 2014 worldwide. In India alone, the video conferencing market is growing 23 percent year-on-year due to the growing demand from the government sector, which leans towards more affordable and lower bandwidth-compatible systems. As a result, India is becoming the fourth largest market for video conferencing equipment.

“Despite the softening of the market elsewhere, there is great demand in the Asia Pacific region for HD video conferencing,” said Yoshikazu Hirano, General Manager, Business & Professional Products Asia Pacific (BPPA). “Currently, HD deployment in video conferencing has not matured and this presents a lucrative market opportunity for Sony. In response, we are making our PCS-XG55 available in March to provide customers a high-quality HD video conferencing experience.”

Although the video conferencing industry is filled with SD endpoints, Sony expects to see a marked improvement in the HD visual communication system in the very near future, with estimated revenues projected to increase by more than four times in 2010 from 2007.

To ride the changing trend, Sony’s PCS-XG55 is designed to be both HD and SD compatible. This enables enterprises’ to tailor their business needs with affordable price and lower investment in bandwidth compared to the high-bandwidth requirements for high-end (maximum 1080p) HD visual communication systems.

However, the true experience of customers’ equipped with a HD video conferencing system (minimum 720p) will be largely affected by peers, who send poor quality video signals and low-resolution pictures from low-end endpoints.

Sony IPELA PCS-XG55 HD visual communication system will be competitively priced and available for shipping in March 2010 in the Asia-Pacific region, and possibly other markets too.

29
Dec 2009
DISCUSSION 1 Comment

Incredible High Resolution Sony Bravia XBR10/ZX5 Gallery

The Sony Bravia XBR10/ZX5 was a rather interesting play that just couldn’t really gain any traction in the TV market. This unique Bravia was offered at 46″ and 52″ sizes at very high prices, but offered a super thin profile, wireless 1080P capability and a LED edge-lit LCD. The picture quality was great in my observations but I knew the price would turn people off. However, one cannot ignore that this was perhaps a product ahead of its time and a true marvel in Sony engineering. In these photos from Sony Japan, we can see the black and white ZX5 (that’s what they call the XBR10 in Japan) in various poses and settings. Check out all of the high resolution XBR10/ZX5 pictures at our Picasa Gallery – make once you’ve clicked on a picture that you hit the download link within to see the full resolution.

21
Dec 2009
POSTED IN

Hardware, Televisions

DISCUSSION 2 Comments

The Technology Behind The Sony Mercury-free Alkaline Button Battery

There are many types of batteries. Primary (disposable) batteries (such as dry-cell and button batteries) are used once and discarded. Secondary (rechargeable) batteries (which include lithium-ion varieties) can be recharged and used repeatedly. Solar cells represent yet another type of battery. Conventionally, button batteries contain mercury to prevent the generation of hydrogen gas. However, the use of mercury is not without risks. The improper use or disposal of mercury-based batteries carries adverse risks for both the environment and human health. Yet, developing technology necessary to create mercury-free button batteries was an extremely difficult challenge. Sony’s commitment to reducing its environmental impact is a reflection of its unrelenting efforts to meet that challenge, and in 2004 it succeeded in developing the world’s first mercury-free silver oxide battery. In 2009, Sony achieved what was regarded as an even more difficult task: the development of technology leading to the world’s first mercury-free alkaline button battery.

Both silver oxide and alkaline batteries (which are the two main types of button batteries) have zinc anodes and an alkaline solution as the electrolyte. Even when the battery is not in use, the zinc in the anode is dissolved by a corrosive reaction with the electrolyte. This reaction also produces hydrogen gas. If hydrogen gas is allowed to build up inside the battery, the resulting internal pressure could cause the battery to swell and leak. Dry-cell batteries are generally large enough to have sufficient space for mechanical measures to deal with this hydrogen gas such as the provision of a safety valve. However, button batteries are simply too small to support such mechanical solutions and even minute amounts of hydrogen gas can cause swelling and leakage.

Mercury is widely known for its potential threat to the environment and human health. Such risks can result when improper disposal leads to mercury entering the food chain. Unfortunately, prior to technological advances, conventional button battery manufacturers had no alternative to mercury as a means to curb the build-up of hydrogen gas resulting from the corrosive reaction between mercury and zinc.

The European Battery Directive, which came into effect in 2008, strictly limits the use of mercury in batteries. Because of technical barriers to the development of mercury-free button batteries, button batteries were treated as a special case. As a result, manufacturers are still allowed to use mercury in limited amounts (less than 2%).

The development of mercury-free silver oxide batteries was announced by Sony in 2004. These batteries were created by developing three core technologies to increase the ability of the zinc to resist corrosion. These innovations dramatically reduced the amount of hydrogen gas produced.

1. Ten-fold improvement in corrosion resistance through use of high-performance zinc alloy in the anode
2. Doubling of corrosion resistance by adding anti-corrosion material to anode
3. Anti-corrosion treatment of collector to prevent electrolyte leakage and reduce zinc corrosion

Sony succeeded in developing a mercury-free battery by using these three unique technologies to achieve a dramatic reduction in hydrogen gas production. Sony also took advantage of the properties of the silver oxide used in the cathode, including its ability to absorb hydrogen gas. This means that even if hydrogen gas is produced, it will simply be absorbed by the silver oxide, making the new battery at least as safe as conventional batteries containing mercury.

The development of a mercury-free alkaline button battery was an even greater challenge, and was initially regarded as impossible in practical terms. Unlike silver oxide batteries, alkaline button batteries contain no substances capable of absorbing hydrogen gas. However, alkaline button batteries are cheaper than silver oxide batteries. Because they are widely used in portable consumer electronics products such as game consoles, toys and other items, they are frequently handled by both adults and children. As Sony began to develop a mercury-free alkaline button battery, its first priority was to ensure safety.

In a silver oxide battery, any hydrogen gas produced is absorbed by the silver oxide. Sony engineers believed it would be possible to develop a safe, mercury-free alkaline button battery if they could find the proper material to perform the same role. This led to intensive research and development efforts focusing on materials with a high capacity to absorb hydrogen gas. By adding a hydrogen-absorbing material to the cathode, and combining this with the three unique technologies developed for the mercury-free silver oxide battery, Sony succeeded in commercializing a mercury-free alkaline button battery that matched or surpassed batteries containing mercury in terms of both safety and performance.

Sony sells around 300 million alkaline button batteries and silver oxide batteries each year. The development of mercury-free batteries has the potential to reduce the amount of mercury used each year in these two types of batteries by approximately 470kg, or enough to fill approximately 68 clear plastic 500ml beverage bottles. Sony is dedicated to reducing its carbon footprint via ongoing technological advances. Sony is also dedicated to eliminating all hazardous substances throughout the company’s various processes.

In a related note, check out this interview with Masatsugu Shiota, one of the engineers involved with the mercury-free battery effort.

21
Dec 2009
POSTED IN

Hardware

DISCUSSION 1 Comment

Sony Ericsson Shows Off New Eco-Friendly Elm And Hazel Greenheart Phones

Sony Ericsson has announced two new phones in its Greenheart line of eco-friendly devices – the Elm and Hazel. Standard features of each phone include a 2+ inch screen, ergonomic key layout, 5.0 megapixel autofocus geo-tagging camera with video recording, and Facebook, myspace and Twitter integration. Sony has also included Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, MicroSD Support, Google search and Google Maps, Wisepilot, turn-by-turn navigation with AGPS and 10 days free weather forecast with Accuweather. A “noise shield,” clear voice and intelligent volume adaptation are also included for voice conversations.

There are many more features we found interesting, including video calling, HD Voice compatibility, animated wallpaper support, a rich media player, and full exchange/regular email support. A shame about the Netfront Internet browser in each though, as we generally prefer the Webkit experience.

One thing about the screens on each device; the Hazel has a 2.6 inch (16 million color) TFT screen, while the Elm has a 2.2 inch (65k color) TFT screen. Both have talk time of about 10 hours for GSM/GPRS and 3G/UMTS talk time of about 4 hours. Standby for either modes is more than an astonishing 430+ hours. Video calling will drain the battery in about three hours.

How are these “green” phones? Well they both happen to share these characteristics:

• Recycled plastics
• E-manual in phone
• Free from hazardous chemicals
• Low power consumption charger (EP300 GreenHeart)
• Walk Mate eco application
• Green calculator
• Minimized packaging

The Sony Ericsson Elm phone and the Sony Ericsson Hazel phone support GSM/GPRS/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900 and HSPA 2100/900. The Elm will be available in the colours Metal Black and Pearly Rose from Q1 2010. The Hazel will be available in the colours Superior Black and Passionate Rouge from Q2 2010.

21
Dec 2009
POSTED IN

Hardware, Mobile

DISCUSSION 4 Comments

Leaked Information Reveals Exciting Playstation Network Premium Service Details

Late last month we found out that Sony is moving forward to offer a new tier of premium subscriptions for Playstation Network consumers. Kotaku has followed up with this information by detailing a new, credible looking survey outlining the details of this service, and if they are true it would be a huge boost to the Playstation experience. We’re talking about cloud storage for games and game saves, Hulu, music services, and so much more. The pricing would be very comparable to the industry standard at “$20 to $60 a year, or alternatively $6 to $9 a month.” I would pay that for some of these features (courtesy of Engadget):

Customer Service Priority Access
Priority access to PlayStation’s customer service both online and via phone should you need technical help or have questions about your products. This feature gives you support with little to no waiting.

Exclusive Experiences with Sony Brands
Get member-only access to attend exclusive Sony events and experiences throughout the year, including those offered by PlayStation, Sony Pictures, and Sony Music.

Extended Console Warranty 3 Years
Get your PS3 warranty extended to 3 years as part of your overall subscription (requires you to keep your subscription active). The standard warranty on your PS3 is 1 year.

Access to Beta Games
Get access to Betas of popular games not yet released at retail (Betas offer bigger experiences than typical game demos). You will have the ability to play these games before others do.

Early Access to All Store Content
Get early access to select free and purchasable game related content on the PlayStation Store before it’s available to everyone else. This includes games, add-ons, themes, avatars, as well as free game demos.

Member Demo Sharing of Full Game
Share a level of a game that you just purchased for your PS3 with a subscriber who doesn’t own the game. Your friends could do the same. This would be an exclusive demo not available otherwise to those who haven’t purchased the game.

Cross-game Voice Chat Access
Get exclusive member-only access to cross-game voice chat. This is the ability to use your headset to voice chat with friends on your PS3 regardless of what they are doing on the PS3.

Full Title Trial – 1st Hour Is Free
Download full versions of select Blu-ray and PSN game titles and have the chance to play the entire game (single or multiplayer) for free for the first hour. After that time you will have the option of purchasing the game to continue playing.

Token Wagering
Get a fixed number of tokens per month you can wager with other players in competitive online games. These tokens could then be built up and redeemed for free PlayStation Network games and other content.

User-to-user Challenges
Unlock developer-created challenges while playing games. Compete with your friends to see who can be the first to complete these challenges. The PS3 will automatically offer and track challenges and winners and would post results. An example of a challenge is ‘first to get 10 trophies’ in a particular game.

Free Access to PSOne Classics, PSP Minis, and PS3/PSP Themes
Get a fixed number of PSOne Classic games, PSP Minis (bite-sized games), and PS3/PSP themes per month to keep for free for as long as you are a subscriber. The PlayStation Store offers these types of content for $2-6 each.

Discounts on Store Content
Get weekly member-exclusive discounts on specific games, game add-ons and themes on the PlayStation Store. Discounts may range from 20-50% off regular retail prices.

Member Only In-game Content
Get exclusive member-only in-game content for your PS3 or PSP such as new game play options, unlocked in-game weapons or player slots, exclusive levels, costumes/skins, and PlayStation Home spaces.

Trophy Alerts
Get automated alerts on your PlayStation XrossMedia Bar, PlayStation.com, and via text message (if you so choose) that alert you when your friends get any trophy or a specific one. This feature is customizable – you can choose which friends to receive alerts from and what kinds of alerts.

Cloud Storage Space for Games
Store your game saves on a virtual secure saver. This would allow you to access your game saves at any point in time, and from any PlayStation 3 or PSP console you are logged in on.

Online Music Service
Get a streaming music service that allows you to choose your channel based on music style, artist type, etc. and listen to an unlimited number of tracks. This service would be for use outside of playing a game and similar to Pandora or a Last.fm.

Online Music Video Service
Get a streaming music video service on your PlayStation 3 that lets you stream music videos from a continuously growing catalog of music and allows you to create a custom playlist to play back.

Automatic Downloads and Updates
Customize the types of updates you want your PS3 to download automatically. These include game updates (patches) for games that you own, firmware updates, and game demos downloaded on your PS3 without manually having to select them and wait for them to finish downloading. Your PS3 can be set to automatically turn on for updates and turn off after completion.

Loyalty Program Rewards
Get rewards the longer you are a subscriber and also earn rewards by engaging with PlayStation such as buying games, downloading movies, and rating products. Rewards can include full versions of PlayStation Network games and digital movie rentals from the PlayStation Store.

Facebook Connectivity
Access to member-exclusive Facebook features on your PlayStation 3, such as viewing and linking your Facebook accounts with their PSN ID’s, updating your status, editing, uploading and sharing photos, and viewing photo albums of your friends on your TV.

Catch-up TV
Get access to popular TV shows and movies through service providers such as Hulu, simply by clicking an icon on your PS3 XrossMedia navigation bar.

Netflix Access Without Disc
Access the Netflix video streaming service on your PS3 without the need to insert a special disc into the drive each time to access the service. A separate Netflix subscription would also be needed to enjoy the service. Netflix offers over 17000 popular movies and TV shows for streaming on your laptop or a supported device such as a PS3.

21
Dec 2009
DISCUSSION 57 Comments

Microsoft’s XBOX360 Project Natal Has A Secret: Lag

I’m starting to get the impression that 2010 will be a very strong for the Playstation brand in the home console arena. The reason I state this is because I don’t see Nintendo and Microsoft hitting the market with another console until 2011. Microsoft has an “Ace Card” they showed off at E3 for the XBOX360 called Natal, which many of you have probably seen before. It’s a very exciting prospect from an established giant in tech, and is basically a camera system that can read your movements and allows you to play games with those movements instead of using a controller. The videos were so exciting that many thought they were witnessing the second coming of a great evolution in gaming. What could go wrong?

Well, things can go wrong if Natal has lag – with one developer and now one of the largest technology blogs stating so. Gizmodo writes, “Jon Burton, director of Traveller’s Tales (makers of all those LEGO titles), has confirmed that “Lag on the input and lack of physical buttons is really going to restrict the kind of games that can be done [for Project Natal].” Gizmodo also went on to note that Natal was “accurate, but an ever-so-slight delay to the movement caused us to question whether it could be used for hardcore gaming apps.”

Both consoles are starting to stagnate a little bit. The Wii has filled its niche very nicely, but hardcore gamers overlook it quickly. With explosive success of Modern Warfare 2 – which made $550 million in its first five days of retail -  we are reminded you simply can’t miss out on immersive HD gaming. The XBOX360 is still very strong, has incredible online features and services but it does lack something these days in comparison to the PS3. You can tell its end of life, despite the fact that Microsoft has brilliantly extended the experience with a great software and social media experience.

Honestly, the PS3 feels like a canvas to me, as if there is still great growth within it. There are two huge things coming for the console in the next six months – a super accurate motion controller and the ability for any PS3 to play 3D games. How can you not be excited about that?

21
Dec 2009
POSTED IN

Hardware, Playstation, PS3

DISCUSSION 21 Comments

Sony Reader Experience To Get Many More Content Partners

In another good move on the Reader front, reports are stating that Sony is now embracing relationships with nearly 19 new content partners for regular download and wireless distribution to its Reader devices. The Financial Times has mentioned its own publication along with the Los Angeles Times, and Chicago Tribune will be available immediately. The other partners are also excellent – “the New York Times and Christian Science Monitor, metropolitan dailies such as the Denver Post and the San Jose Mercury News, and the New York Review of Books and Barron’s, two weekly titles.” For those of you skeptical of pricing, no worries, its fairly moderate. The FT continues, “three News Corp titles under which the Wall Street Journal will be available for $14.99 a month, MarketWatch.com for $10.99 and the New York Post for $9.99. Sony said, however, that Reader users would be able to buy single editions of the FT, the LA Times and the Tribune, as well as monthly subscriptions.”

So there will be many options. This is a good thing.

Where’s the magazines, though? That’s really up to the publishers themselves. However, I have seen some demos of magazines and newspapers in a special tablet format that is really something. Are magazines skipping the E-Ink craze and going in this direction? It’s hard to tell, but I’m starting to think so. There’s no advertising model in the Reader at this moment and that turns people off quickly. A handheld touchscreen tablet with rich multimedia capability could most certainly have advertising capabilities.

One thing that disappoints me with the Reader experience is that Sony has no way for bloggers to offer their content to reader devices. Amazon has enabled the Kindle to show blogs (in a converted format I assume) for publishers that sign up for its Kindle Publishing for Blogs service. I even signed up Sony Insider for this service, because it’s such a cool idea. It would be so awesome if future Reader devices came with subscriptions to blog services available from the Sony Electronics Community, SonyStyle, Sony Insider and other relevant domains..

21
Dec 2009
POSTED IN

Hardware, Reader

DISCUSSION 2 Comments